Posted by Robin Paulson Categories:
As if Disney didn’t own much of our childhood already, the media conglomerate has now spent an estimated $4 billion to acquire Marvel Entertainment, marking the deal as its largest since attaining Pixar in 2006.
Of the whopping $4 billion the company shelled out to obtain the comic book powerhouse, Chief Financial Officer Tom Staggs points out that any great venture is worth the price tag: “You can’t expect to pay a bargain price for premium assets. Marvel is worth more inside Disney than outside Disney.”
Read More | CNN
Earlier this morning, Sony announced their Reader Daily Edition, which sits at the top of the line of the Sony Reader ebook reader family. The Sony Reader Daily Edition boasts a seven-inch touchscreen with 16 shades of gray, and like the Amazon Kindle, it has 3G access built-in for purchasing books from the Sony eBook Store. The 3G connection is provided by AT&T.
You’ll be able to get your hands on the Sony Reader Daily Edition this December for $400, and it’ll be compatible with the new eBook Library 3.0 software, which now supports Macs. Even better though, and what sets this apart, is that there is a built in library finder services, and it lets you check out ebooks from local public libraries, at no cost. You just need a library card, find the books you want, and go to the library to get them loaded onto the Reader Daily Edition. The New York Public Library is one of the big launch partners, but “thousands more” will be available as well. When you check out a book, you get between 2-4 weeks to read it before it expires on the device. A huge advantage over what the Kindle offers, which is 100% paid content.
I don’t know about you, but we are fairly excited about this one.
Read More | Sony Reader Daily Edition Release
One of the worst-kept secrets in the past few months has finally been confirmed, as Sony has finally announced their newer, slimmer PS3. Affectionately known as the PS3 Slim to gamers, the new PS3 is smaller, lighter, and has “all the same features” as the current PS3, according to Sony. Of course, after some digging, we did find that the PS3 Slim won’t support installing Linux on the system like its larger brethren does…but we’re guessing that not too many of you will cry over that. The PS3 Slim will also use 34% less power, and takes up 32% less space than the existing PS3. All this goodness will be available this September for $299. If you want to pick up one of the larger PS3s, those will be available in stores at a new low price, with the 80GB model selling for $299, and the 160GB model selling for $399. The PS3 Slim will pack in a 120GB hard drive.
We were able to spend some quality time with the Zune HD a couple of days ago, and we put together this video walkthrough of the interface on the device. Unfortunately, we weren’t connected to Wi-Fi, so we weren;t able to show web browsing, downloading from the Marketplace, or Social, but this gives you a really good idea of what to expect when you get pick up your Zune HD (available for pre-order now) come September 15th.
Our favorite feature? I’ll probably be using the pinned items on the side quite a bit, especially for the recently synched stuff. Quick access to things like that have been much needed on touch devices. A runner up would have to be the quick scroll in the music browser. Again, it saves you on just quickly swiping a bunch of times, hoping to get to the right spot.
All in all, we’re impressed. Of course, we will have a full Zune HD review when we get our own device. For now, be sure to read up on everything we know about the Zune HD.
We realize that it’s been a few weeks since our last giveaway, so we are back with a vengeance this time around. As part of HP’s Back to School: Better Together campaign, we are a part of 25 different sites that are giving away a bunch of portable computing technology to one lucky winner. So, what’s up for grabs? Take a look:
- One HP dv6 notebook: Intel Core 2 Duo P7350, Windows Vista Ultimate, 4GB RAM, 500 GB Hard Drive, Blu-ray drive
- One HP Mini 110 netbook: Intel Atom 270, Windows XP, 1GB RAM, 10-inch display
- A customized Gear Live Timbuk2 bag
- Syncables software pre-installed on the notebooks, for hassle-free synchronization between the two
Sounds good, right? We’ve made entering super-easy. Here’s how to throw your name into the hat:
- Become a Fan of Gear Live on Facebook
- Follow Gear Live on Twitter
- Send out the following update to your Twitter account: “Hey @gearlive - Count me in on the HP Notebook giveaway! http://bit.ly/hp-giveaway #gearlive” (Click here to tweet this now)
That’s it! Our contest runs from today through August 20, at 11:59 PM PDT. As long as you’ve completed the above requirements by that time, you are entered. The winner will be picked randomly, and contacted through Facebook messaging, and will need to respond within 48 hours, or else another random entry will be selected as the winner. This contest is open to anyone, as long as you live on planet Earth, so you non-US residents, feel free to play along.
That’s right, Microsoft has finally let the cat out of the bag on all the Zune HD info we’ve been craving, and we’ve got the full scoop for you right here. First and foremost, the Zune HD goes on sale on September 15, and will be available in 16GB and 32GB size capacities. The two units are identical in every way, other than storage capacity, so let’s run down some of those specs.
- Built-in HD Radio receiver
- 720p HD video output through a premium dock (costs extra)
- OLED touchscreen: 3-3-inches, 16:9, scratch-resistant glass
- Built-in 802.11b/g Wi-Fi
- Web browser
- NVIDIA Tegra low-power HD processor
The Onyx Black 16GB Zune HD will sell for $219.99, while the Platinum Silver 32GB model will sell for $290 - compare that to the $299 and $399 prices for the 16GB and 32GB iPod touch, respectively. If you aren’t down with black or platinum, wait until September 15, and you’ll be able to pick from five other colors through the Zune Originals program. We’ve got even more specs for you after the cut, but if you’ve heard all you needed to hear and want to pre-order the device immediately, head on over to Amazon where you can find the 32GB Silver Zune HD, as well as the 16GB Black model.
One of the biggest updates coming in Halo 3: ODST is the addition of the Firefight mode. Firefight lets you team up with three other friends to take on round after round of enemies. It’s a nice divergence from the standard Halo 3 multiplayer fare, and makes ODST a very attractive package. I was able to spend about 90 minutes playing Firefight yesterday, and I’ve gotta say, I can see this being a new favorite. Firefight is to Halo 3: ODST what Horde is to Gears of War 2 - it allows you to team up with friends against a common enemy, and it doesn’t end until all four of you are dead at once.
We will have our Firefight impressions up in just a bit, but for now, check out all the screenshots we’ve amassed of the maps we were able to check out. There are definitely more, but what we’ve got for you is a look at Crater (Night), Security Zone, and Alpha Site. Have a look at our Halo 3: ODST Firefight Map Screenshot gallery.
We’ve been beta testing the Shoot It! app for the past couple of months, and we are excited to let you guys know that it is now available for purchase in the App Store for $0.99. Why the excitement? Well, Shoot It! is one of the apps we use very regularly, and it’s one of our favorite apps that we’ve ever used on the iPhone. So, What is Shoot It?
Shoot It! allows you to send high quality postcards to anyone in your iPhone or iPod touch Address Book, using images in your Camera Roll, or an image that you take from within the app using the iPhone camera. You can send a postcard to as many people as you like, and you also fill in a message that would be printed on the back of the photo. The end result is, as we said, a high quality 4x6 glossy postcard that has the image of your choice on the front, and your message on the back. Since you can send the message to any number of contacts, you end up with the ability to send one message to, say, twenty people, in just a minute or two.
Read More | Shoot It!
Okay, I’ve had enough of the Xbox Live friend limit that Microsoft has imposed on us for far too long. I think this has gone on long enough, and I’m really not seeing a good reason for it. As many Xbox Live gamers know, the current limit on friends you can have is set to 100. The thing is, in the age of social networks like Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, and all the others, we are now used to connecting with many people in our social graph across many different services.
Now, all that said, there is still one more very annoying piece to this puzzle. Did you know that the Zune Social and Xbox Live share one common friends list? In other words, if you currently have 100 Xbox Live friends, and you go out and buy a Zune, and want to connect with people who also have Zune’s (but don’t necessarily play games,) you are out of luck. You’ll have to remove someone from your Xbox Live friend list to add someone else. This is, in two words, absolutely ridiculous. I get wanting to share the Zune and Xbox ecosystem, but to shoot yourself in the foot like this is just puzzling. I personally have at least 15 people that I would like to add as friends on the Zune Social, but I can’t, because my Xbox Live list is maxed out.
That’s right, the arcade classic Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time comes out tomorrow, August 5th, on Xbox Live Arcade - as part of XBLA‘s ‘Summer of Arcade.’
Re-Shelled promises updated 3-D graphics with the same masterful gameplay. Four player co-op and survival modes will be available both online and locally.
It seems like if you played the 90’s arcade title, you know what to expect. Still, keep your eyes peeled on the game’s Metacritic page for reviews to start pouring in.
It’ll cost you 800 Microsoft Points ($10.)
And by the way, here’s XBLA’s ‘Summer of Arcade’ Lineup:
- OUT NOW: ‘Splosion Man 800 Points ($10)
- OUT NOW: Marvel vs. Capcom 2 1200 Points ($15)
- August 5: TMNT: Turtles in Time Re-shelled 1200 Points ($15)
- August 12: Trials HD 1200 Points ($15)
- August 19: Shadow Complex 1200 Points ($15)
Read More | Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time Re-Shelled